The service is free to any Amazon Prime member, a service which costs $79 per year (or free for students) and gets you free two-day shipping or highly discounted one-day shipping.
As of launch, the service has 5000 TV shows and movies, and can be streamed through the computer or one of 200 Internet-connected media devices, like Roku.
Netflix seemed unmoved by Amazon's service (via Yahoo):
We've have said for a long time that we expect someone to compete with Netflix. When you have a big growing category it attracts competition.
Amazon's service differentiates itself from Netflix in the fact that you can also purchase or rent episodes and movies a la carte, via their popular Instant Video platform. Instant Video has 90,000 movies and TV shows, including all brand new releases, which both streaming services notably lack.
Netflix, which has just over 20 million subscribers, recently bumped their library to over 20,000 movies and TV shows, and has slowly but surely moved their focus away from physical DVDs and towards streaming, even creating a streaming-only plan which is cheaper than mixed media plans which start as low as $9 per month.
Written by: Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Feb 2011 15:58